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Shruti Kapadia
June 20, 2017

Restaurant Social Media Fails: 5 Ways to Handle Negative Reviews

a boy with an amazed reactions on his laptop

Social media is a great platform that can make or break your marketing campaign. Let’s put it this way: if content is fire, social media is gasoline. There has been a lot of misconceptions about handling negative reviews on social media. But the only way to do it is to do it right.

Social media is a platform that connects your brand with the consumer directly. There is no better invention in marketing than social media and that’s because there are no rules. Brands can push out their content in any tone they like, depending on what kind of audience they are going after. A Canadian lingerie brand called La Senza is bold and spiky in their approach while a brand like Dove is polite and warm. Wendy’s, on the other hand, roasts people and Coke creates content that focuses on bringing everyone together.

Every brand has a different way of marketing their content. But when it comes to taking care of negative feedback or reviews, there is one golden rule and that is to be honest and be yourself. An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek resolution for issues.

poor customer rate graphs

(Source: http://providesupport.com/blog/cost-poor-customer-service/)

Reviews on social media also have a huge impact on the food industry, particularly restaurants, as one bad review can ignite more. In a world where your content only lives for 24 hours and live videos are a big deal, how do you take the time and effort to frame a reply to your negative feedback?  Here are five ways to deal with restaurant social media fails.

1] Address Complaints

First and foremost, take care of any negative feedback and address it. Do not make the mistake of ignoring it and thinking that if you do not reply, it will disappear. There is nothing  worse than an angry, neglected customer. Addressing the situation and the complaint is a must if you want your customer base to grow.

2] Timing is Everything

Once you decide to take the leap and address the complaint, make sure the timing is good. By that, I mean when was the complaint posted? Has it been too long? Promptness plays a great role in speaking for your brand. Addressing a complaint soon shows that you care about your customer and you want to make things right.

3] Set a Tone

The third and the most important thing to keep in mind when handling negative reviews is the kind of tone you use to address it. A tone that only screams ‘I, me, myself’ will annoy the customer more. Conversely, a soft tone that speaks more of the customer and less of the brand will appear warm and friendly. Address the complaint in a subtle manner that shows concern and that you are appalled with the kind of service the customer received. It shows that you are willing to make things right. Nothing makes the customer happier than to see that they are being heard.

>>Find out how Jimmy's Famous American Tavern redefined its social media by growing its social media presence here! 

4] Problem Solved

After you frame your apology, offer a solution to the problem he/she faced in the first place. If a customer received a burnt pizza, for example, address the issue. Apologize for what happened and show your concern. Include a fact by saying that it has never happened before and that you’re deeply sorry. Also, offer a FREE pizza or anything you’d like to make it up to the customer and make sure to give them excellent service when they visit the store to redeem it. Remember, you can change the entire game by giving them a great experience and your negative review will change into a positive one, once the customer sees your effort and understands how important they are to your business.

5] Personally Contact Them

Sometimes certain situations should be discussed privately rather than publicly to keep the issue between the customer and the restaurant. As a brand, it is your duty to know when to take the conversation offline. I suggest apologizing for the experience in the first sentence and addressing it with a fact as stated above. Then offer to continue the conversation on a private message stream to keep the matter confidential. Ask the guest to share their contact number or email address and include the summary of your social media chat on email and address the issue. Offer a solution in the conclusion. At the end of the day, it's all about making the customer feel that they are being taken seriously. Show that you’re concerned and express that it would be terrible to lose them as your guest.


These five steps will surely help you frame a solid response to any bad reviews that your business has received. Feel free to ask us any questions about this topic or anything related to social media in the comment box below.

Are you seeking social media or marketing professionals for your business? Contact us here for more information.

Learn more about the industries and companies Kulture Konnect has worked with here.

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Find out how Jimmy's Famous American Tavern successfully redefined its

social media today!

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